Sunday 11 December 2016

Newcastle boss Steve McClaren hoping for happy new year after disappointing 2015

Published 25/12/2015 | 22:41

Head coach Steve McClaren is hoping 2016 will bring better things for Newcastle
Head coach Steve McClaren is hoping 2016 will bring better things for Newcastle

Newcastle head coach Steve McClaren is targeting a significant improvement in 2016 after admitting 2015 has simply not been good enough.

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The Magpies head into their Boxing Day clash with Everton sitting in 17th place in the Barclays Premier League table and having won just eight games in all competitions during the calendar year to date.

That comes nowhere near matching the club's relatively modest ambitions, let alone those of the fans, and McClaren is well aware things have to improve significantly if he is to make a success of his reign with the club having collected just 30 points from their last 36 league fixtures.

The 54-year-old said: "That hasn't been good enough. We're working and working and seeing the progress. More consistency needs to be there and we need a damn better second half then we did the first.

"We need a better 2016 than 2015, when there wasn't a lot to cheer about all the way through."

McClaren was charged with the task of securing a top-eight finish and targeting cup success when he was handed his job during the summer, but life on Tyneside has proved challenging to say the least during the first half of the campaign.

Newcastle have won just five times in all competitions since his arrival and only four times in the league, and two of those three-point hauls have come in their last three outings.

However, the head coach remains philosophical, insisting that the introduction of a new manager, new methods and new players always meant it was likely to be a rocky road initially.

He said: "You always have to make targets. We're not even halfway through yet. Let's see where we finish.

"We had a new manager coming in and new players as well. There was also the aftermath of what happened last season. It was very much an unknown.

"We said look at it after 10 to 12 games, but then someone said it's usually the first 19 and we have two of them to go.

"We are where we are, but we want to have a better second half to the season than we did the first."

Press Association

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